Religious Radio Station Draws Controversy On Siloam Springs School Bus

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SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) -- Siloam Springs School District has advised a school bus driver not to play a Christian radio station while transporting children, said superintendent Ken Ramey.

A parent contacted the district on Monday (Sept. 26) and asked that the driver not play anything with a religious connection.

Ramey said a delay in communication resulted in the parent contacting the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which sent this letter to the district Friday (Sept. 30).

In it, the organization cited Supreme Court decisions that ruled in favor of the separation of education and religion and also requested the district address the issue by telling school bus drivers not to play religious programming while students are present.

"We understand that the students on the bus are in a contained situation and under the establishment clause we're supposed to be religiously neutral," Ramey said. "So, we see this as a verifiable incident that can be corrected."

5NEWS reached out to the person who filed the complaint, but did not hear back.

Ramey said the driver has been informed and it is no longer an issue. He added the driver meant no harm by playing Christian radio, but district staff will be reminded to abstain from religious material around students.

"We'll just simply be educating our people, bring it to the conscious level," Ramey said. "Just really good people who have no intent to promote religion, it's just who they are."


    • Keith Babberney

      If you feel strongly that other genres are not acceptable, it should be fine to require no music on the bus with kids. These kids have constitutional rights that the school must protect; proselytizing to schoolchildren for any religion is unacceptable and illegal.

      • Brandon Johns

        Nobody was proselytizing. He was the one listening to it. I don’t think a school bus driver should be listening to any radio period while he was driving, but you are only angry about it being Christian like the good communist you are.

  • Alice Johnson

    If they can’t play Christian because that is who they are then they can’t play rap, rock, heavy metal, country or any other type music because that is who they are. People have really taken it too far. What happened to parents taking an initiative and responsibility to teaching their children what they should at home instead of trying to change everyone to their beliefs?

    • Kris Sharp

      If the bus driver’s kids were on a bus with a LDS, scientologist, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist driver playing a radio station which contains both music and talk they would be livid and request they wait until the bus is empty to tune in.

  • Justin Rains

    Ever heard of separation of church and state? The reason they can not play Christian music is NOT EVERYONE IS CHRISTIAN you know there are many other religions if this was Jewish music or some other religions people would be throwing a fit. This is why all Religous music and events are separated from public schools.So get over your selves this is not an attack on Christianity this is a school fallowing the law and if you do not want your child influenced by the other music choices send them to a private school.

    • Mary Grace Walts

      No, this is a subtle attack on Christianity. The separation clause in the constitution was so the government could not force us to worship how we did not see fit. This incident is a government poking its head into our world and telling us what we can or cannot do in our private lives. There’s been a lot of that happening in the last few years, and, as a citizen, I am tired of it.

      • Keith Babberney

        But that’s exactly what’s being corrected here. The government (bus driver with captive children) is dictating to students who can’t avoid it that they will receive Christian proselytization on the bus. It’s illegal. The school made the right decision. The driver can listen to anything he likes on his own time (or after the kids are all off).

    • Tony Cossey

      I have heard people refer to separation of church and state but that is not actually in the Constitution. It actually a twisting of what the Constitution does say and it definitely does NOT mean what you seem to think it does.

    • Brandon Johns

      Just went and looked up the Facebook accounts of Justin and his wife. They may be the ones who made this complaint. They both appear to be Marxists as well…just like the FFRF.

  • nwajack0

    School bus drivers should not be listening to music while transporting our children anyway, nor should they talk on their phone or watch tv while driving. Distractions should be minimized for such a critical role.

  • Ed Mandel

    What really gets me is that a parent, and organizations, wants to force their non-belief on others, especially children because they know that they are the most impressionable, while at the same time saying that they don’t want someone forcing their belief upon them. Now who is being the hypocrite.

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